The Big South Fork of the Cumberland River and its main tributaries, the Clear Fork, North White Oak and New River offer visitors a variety of whitewater paddling opportunities. While on the river you may still see the results of previous agricultural, mining and logging practices, the land today has a quality of wildness with limited access and sparse development.
The river is a dynamic system which changes constantly. Expect the unexpected for conditions change quickly. The following links will provide you with information which will help you to plan a safe and enjoyable paddling trip in the Big South Fork.
Additional information on paddling in the Big South Fork and on commercial outfitters is available at either park visitor center.
Chris Arp, a local paddler from Knoxville Tennessee has filmed several paddling trips down the Big South Fork River. View the clips of the groups adventures down the river and through Double Falls Rapids (45 seconds), Washing Machine (11 seconds) and The Ell (40 seconds). Together these rapids are refered to as "The Big Three".
Did You Know?
In the 1960's Congress requested the Army Corps of Engineers to study the feasibility of damming the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River just above the Devils Jump Rapid to create another reservoir. Had that happened Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area would never have existed.